Dean Radin – 2
succeed, we don’t know what happens, you see? Does the fabric automatically repair the tear? if you’re unlucky and happen to be in a wrong place and time, will you get sucked into the hole left behindby tearing the fabric? We don’t know, you see? My faith is that the universe is actually extremely robust, and it doesn’t allow big mistakes like this to be made. On the other hand, we don’t know where Black Holes come from. Maybe somebody on some planet somewhere figured it out, and tried it, and it turned that whole section of the galaxy into a Black Hole. (laughter)
David: If you had access to unlimited funds for parapsychological research, where would you invest the money?
Dean: What I would probably do is carve up a large chunk of it for pure research, because much of what we’re doing here is trying to answer the question: what the hell is going on? How can we see the pork chop in the box? And if we have an idea, like a holographic universe, how can we test that to see if we’re right? And what are the consequences? All that is basic research.
But I’d also put a big chunk into distant healing, or healing in general, because the evidence now is pretty clear in support of these phenomena–whether they are causal, perceptive, or whatever–they can be used to help people get better. Then you have a gigantic pragmatic reason for pushing that research as far and as fast as you can. We’re talking about possibilities like inducing a remote placebo effect, to possibly changing an individual’s past and therefore affecting their present.
We see something like this happening in laboratory tests. And if it turns out to be applicable to medical therapies, then that’s pretty good. It’s the optimal preventative medicine, isn’t it? Of course, there are ethical reasons and planetary reasons to question whether we should do that or not, because if we suddenly had a cure for diseases we’d have such a massive population explosion that that would cause it’s own kind of suffering.
David: Or people could use those same abilities for harm. The power can be used both ways.
Dean: Exactly. So there’s good reason to do a lot of basic research on this, and not simply assume that our ignorance will protect us, because in this case ignorance is not necessarily bliss.
Another large chunk of the money I’d use to fund research on healing the split between science and religion. I would pay scholars, and maybe philosophers, to think about the consequences of kind of starting the scientific enterprise over again. Go back three hundred years, and make a new agreement between Newton, Descartes, and the religious scholars of their day. Figure out a way to begin again, so that we fix the split. I think that the consequences of this split has pushed society in directions that have been quite bad.
On the same token, I’d like to have people like medical ethicists and philosophers–who worry about values and so on–think about the consequences of getting a good grip on what’s going on here. Just like Nick Herbert had a valid question about the physics of unraveling the universe, my question is: if we were extremely successful at understanding what’s going on, what impact would that have on the future? For society? For individuals? I don’t know what the answer is, so I’d pay people who think such things to come up with some kind of reasonable guess. Or maybe more than a guess, perhaps something that’s testable.
I would also use funds to find ways of turning these laboratory curiosities and experiential anomalies into something that benefits us all. Not just because applied research is fun, but because it would help finesse the scientific controversy over psi in a way that basic research cannot.
David: What do you think are some of the most important implications of parapsychological research?
Dean: The history of science shows that for a long time scientists develop a good sense of what they think the world is like, and then somebody comes up with a nutty idea and revolutionizes everything. Then there’s great chaos, and then it settles back down. It goes through these cycles over and over again, and the speed with which those cycles are changing are getting shorter. What used to take centuries, became decades, and now takes six months.
The direction that science in general seems to be moving is perfectly compatible with the idea that there is some kind deep interconnection between things. One time I gave a talk where I was suggesting the topic of psychic phenomena as the middle ground between science and religion. This was because it addresses a lot of the phenomena that give religion it’s power–namely things that look supernatural, and therefore must be